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Laurel Classic Mountain Bike Challenge Is This Saturday, Sept. 11
Photo by Deb Mitstifer
Bikers take on a creek crossing during the 2019 Laurel Classic Mountain Bike Challenge.
This Saturday, Sept. 11, in-person registration and sign-in for the Laurel Classic Mountain Bike Challenge will be at 8:30 a.m. at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Northern Appalachian Research Branch at 176 Straight Run Road, Wellsboro. It’s just off Route 6 in Asaph, eight miles west of Wellsboro.
Those who register on race day will pay a $35 entry fee and can purchase an event T-shirt for $15 while supplies last. Payment must be in cash or by check. Credit cards will not be accepted. Checks should be made payable to the Pennsylvania State Laurel Festival.
All beginners ride the 11-mile short course. The start is at 10 a.m.
The start time for those entered in the expert and sport classes is 11 a.m. These bikers ride 22 miles of continuous course, which covers the 11-mile short course plus an additional 11 miles of challenging terrain.
“There aren’t any repeat laps,” said Race Director Sandy Beideman. “The long course has a cutoff of 1.5 hours to complete the first loop, which includes two long climbs. It takes up to three hours to finish the long course and up to two hours for the short course.”
Eighty-five percent of those who participate are men and 15 percent are women, according to Beideman. In the female expert, sport and beginner classes, there is one age group – all ages. There are six age groups in the expert, sport and beginner male classes, including: junior (12 to 18 years old), senior (19 to 34 years old), vet (35 to 44 years old), masters (45 to 57 years old), super senior (58-67) and super master (68+).
“We average about 100 competitors a year with many registering on race day,” said Beideman. As of Sunday, Sept. 5, the last day to register online, 90 had registered, which is more than in previous years. Forty-one entered as beginners, 28 in the sport category and 21 in the expert category.” Most are coming from communities in New York and Pennsylvania with one from Maryland and another from New Jersey.
“This event offers an excellent opportunity to experience some of the best off-road riding in Pennsylvania,” Beideman said. “The Laurel Classic is known for its awesome mix of grinding climbs, smooth single and double track, creek and log crossings and fast technical descents on trails and forestry roads in the Asaph section of the Tioga State Forest. ”
Expert class first and second place winners will receive cash prizes. Sport and beginner class first, second and third place winners in each age group will receive awards and get to choose an item from the prize table, which will be filled with bike gear from Oswald Cycle Works in Mansfield and C S Sports, Inc. in Wellsboro.
Course maps and registration forms are available online at the Laurel Classic Mountain Bike Challenge’s Facebook page and at the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce office at 114 Main Street in Wellsboro. For information, call the chamber at (570) 724-1926.